Martha Haag— Learning by Immersion
“I’ve lived, learned, worked and grown at New Danville for 15 years,” said Martha Haag, echoing the nonprofit’s tag line. She is a longtime volunteer at New Danville and at Jazzy Junque, the upscale home décor resale store in Conroe that benefits New Danville. “I jumped in head first and my life changed because of it.”
Martha’s roles have included working with the animal therapy program, serving on the board, volunteering at Jazzy Junque and helping with various fundraising events and other activities. “I had never worked with special needs adults before,” Martha said, “but I had worked with kids with special needs. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was immediately smitten. The Wranglers are so sharp and anxious to learn. Sometimes they need an extra pair of hands or an extra set of eyes to help them achieve, but they love learning new things. My friends ask if it requires a lot of patience. No, it doesn’t. It just takes a bit more time.”
Her volunteer experience at New Danville began with the miniature horses. “It is the only thing that I kind of knew something about,” she said. “I don’t sew, paint or cook, so helping with the animals was where I felt I could best fit in. I learned a lot about them and worked alongside John Massey, who became a lifelong friend.”
Spending time creates connections and understanding. She has seen those results in her time at Jazzy Junque. Martha returned to the store as soon as it was possible after the COVID lockdowns. Wednesdays are her days and she proudly proclaims, “We’re an incredible crew! We have a lot of fun and I get a lot of joy out of it. It feels good to be appreciated.” She began with Jazzy Junque before it was the store operation that it is now; then, it was called Jazzy Junque Market. She has learned much about people and friendships during her time there.
“By volunteering, I learned a lot about people and life. It has been nothing but a joy,” she added.